My daughter and I had an idea to start a digital magazine with writings by girls, for girls. This could be a great resource to encourage writing for homeschoolers.  We are trying to encourage more submissions and just released our first issue.  It’s all free.  Gemag.me is our site.  We would love if you would help us get a start.

I’ve had an idea rolling around in my head for a while now. With all the posts on social media about changes in the workplace & millennials, maybe there are ways that the 40 and up can leverage the changes millennials are already demanding.

I’ve been processing it for a couple of months now, maybe there’s something here for a blog post?

I appreciate your forthrightness and transparency in your writing.

I just turned 30 this week and am feeling a lot of self-directed pressure to get it together. I’m female, been in a relationship for 2.5 years, and will NOT be having children (genetic risks with both of our families). We live in insane Vancouver, Canada, where housing costs rival San Francisco.

We both recognize we need to leave the city now. The problem comes in deciding what to do next. He used to run his own construction company, but due to an injury has not been able to make the company really run for the last two years. I just completed a six-month certificate at a technical institute for front-end web development. This is following years of basically admin-drudgery, where I was dreadfully underpaid – despite a 4 year degree; don’t get an arts degree kids.

I assumed once complete I could work my way into a remote job in tech and we could relocate to a more affordable housing market where we could buy a modest property and start building some equity.

Tonight I learned that my boyfriend has dwindled his savings down to half. He now claims he is not interested in buying a property, is giving up on working and considering disability assistance (we’re in Canada), and doesn’t understand why I want to buy since we don’t want kids.

Aside from his lack of ambition, we are a compatible couple. However, I’ve been financially stressed all of my life – coming from irresponsible, immigrant parents who couldn’t save a dime. I paid my own tuition, only paying off student loans a couple years ago.

The constant financial pressure is causing me a lot of depression and anxiety about the future. My boyfriend’s increasingly blaze attitude is amplifying my depression. At the start of our relationship he was much more hopeful about his career, this hope has essentially disappeared.

Where to go next?

Is it smart to bribe my 5-year-old with video game time in return for practicing the guitar (or doing other stuff)? I don’t actually care if he plays a lot of games, but it seems like a fiendishly smart strategy to limit his time in order to use it as a bargaining chip for chores and learning stuff (like guitar, which he asked to learn) that takes work.

Is that terrible?!

Did your musical kid actually always want to practice, or did you make him practice because you knew he did want it but needed help doing the work?

Is there a way to leverage their love for video games in a way that isn’t going to screw them up?!

I’m currently a business analyst at a consulting firm. I was offered a position as consultant in another firm and today when I was telling my boss I was quitting she offered me the same conditions the new place is offering me. I honestly don’t know what to do know. My current employer is not as big as the new firm but definitely has big clients and I love the environment. The last year was rough but I’m finally being recognized and I’m allocated in interesting projects. Growth is not that immediate and I think there is a lack of expertise. However I have veery flexible schedules and a lot of room to propose ideas.

On the other hand the new firm is a more recognized company where I could definitely learn a lot, sacrificing personal life.

Boyfriend who lives in another continent and is moving to England and thinks our relationship wouldn’t survive if I take the new job cause of the amount of work and cause I’ll never want to move to London.

I think I want to change jobs but I’m scared I’m making the wrong choice. I don’t really know what’s best for me (career and personal wise).

Dear Penelope,
I am the new syndicated columnist for Careers Now from Tronc (Chicago Tribune and LA Times online content agency). I found your website and would like to get your input on a question that I have to answer for my next installment of the column. The only catch is that I will need your input by the end of the day this Friday. The answer doesn’t have to be long–I only have room for about 300-400 words

THE QUESTION:

How do I go about making a career change from corporate America to something meaningful?

–Kathleen Furor

I’m an INTP.  I’ve been a stay-at-home dad for the last seven years focused on our three boys. The older two were diagnosed with Asperger’s two years ago, so my hands have been full. I was hoping to get your advice on a new direction I was thinking for my career.

I’ve been in discussion with a the founder of a tutoring and college prep company. They did a great job with our oldest son. They work on the social emotional aspects of learning in addition to the technical/academic processes, and have separate programs to work on things processing speed & short-term memory and college testing & applications. So, they focus on serving both ends of the bell-curve.

The company is  moving from start-up stage to national expansion via franchising. I’m considering buying the franchising rights for our area. It would fill a need for our kids, and be a good way to generate a good income stream once we have several learning centers up and running.

Since you understand what it’s like to parent kids on the Autistic Spectrum and you know what INTP’s are like, is this a crazy thing for me to do?

I did take the course you have for INTPs and it was very helpful. I realize this is the kind of small, all-consuming project that you said INTP’s should avoid. However franchises are know for providing a lot of opportunities for thinking outside the box.

Should I be on LinkedIn for home and office organizing?

Also, what do you think about dating in AA? (After having a year sober I’m considering one person.)

Yesterday I needed a few brilliant ideas so I turned to my chat box and saw who among my tech connections are online and it happens that a social media “big shot” was online so I wrote:

“Hi [name]
I was wondering if you could share some crazy ideas. Like what’s the craziest thing you’d do for something you’d really want?”

I fired up the question hoping it was interesting and thought-provoking. I was totally taken aback by her answer:

“What made you think I would share ideas with you?”

I told her I’m sorry if she doesn’t want to answer.

Now I get it, maybe she felt insulted and violated that she’s someone that has mastered her skill. And maybe I have been stupid to ask for her ideas when she’s actually paid to give people ideas. But I must tell you that her response hurts because I really look up to her.

Penelope, I wonder if is that how most “big shots” really respond? Like when a blog reader asks you a question, would you feel insulted that I solicit your opinion or idea for free?

I would really appreciate your comment on this. Perhaps you could shed me and your other blog readers some light as to when is it good to ask questions, or is it even okay to ask professionals like her when she does consulting for a living. I thought it was an innocent question, but what do you think?

I have been reading your blog for a while and have found your advice to be incredibly useful.  I recently found one of your posts from 2011 where you talk about relocating to Hermosa Beach.  That post hit very close to home for me because I’m currently going through a similar situation (although I don’t have kids).  I was hoping you might be able to offer a little quick advice.  No one else seems to understand my situation.

I’m a 35 yr old engineer and moved to the San Francisco area in May of this year.  I was laid off from my old job and luckily had an offer from a couple of guys that asked me to help them build a small search startup company.  I make about 150k per year along with equity in the company that would be worth quite a bit in several years.

I don’t mind SF, but I’m from Ohio and have Midwestern values – so San Francisco is a little different than what I’m used to – but it’s tolerable.  My original plan was to move there for 4 years, collect my equity and then leave.  However, recently my old company offered me my old position back at a salary of $108k in Ohio.  That’s a reasonable salary in Ohio, but the job in California is more enjoyable.  It feels good and exciting to help build a company from scratch.

I am very close with my mom and sister  (who both live in Ohio).  My dad passed away 2 years ago from years of medical problems, so we have a close bond due to the trauma we went through.  Needless to say it’s difficult moving away from people I love, especially my mom since she’s getting older and starting to show signs of medical problems.

I don’t want to regret using 4 years for a great career at the expense of any memories I could be making with my family.  Although, it’s difficult to pass up a career opportunity that could be worth several million dollars in a few years time.

This decision has generated a lot of anxiety.  I’ve talked to my therapist as well as others who don’t seem to have a good perspective on the situation.  I feel like you certainly understand the difficulty of this scenario.

If you have any advice or comments, this Midwestern guy in San Francisco would forever be in your debt.  Any help at all would really help me.

Thanks again for all the writing you do, as it’s really helped me in the past.

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